Aberdeen boss Stephen Glass insists Declan Gallagher will arrive at Pittodrie stronger after Euro 2020, despite missing out on game-time at the tournament.
Centre-back Gallagher, 30, will officially sign on with Aberdeen on a two year deal now that Scotland’s involvement in the Euros is over.
The Scots exited at the group stages following a 3-1 defeat to beaten World Cup 2018 finalists Croatia at Hampden.
Gallagher was an unused substitute against Croatia.
The defender was also one of the three players left out of the match-day team against Czech Republic and England as national coach Steve Clarke whittled down his squad from 26 players to 23.
Regardless of the lack of game time and the disappointment of failing to progress beyond the groups Glass reckons Gallagher will have taken much from the experience.
He said: “Declan will come to us having trained with that level of player in the Scotland squad.
“He probably felt disappointed but there are a lot of players wishing they were in his shoes.
“There are a lot of people very proud of Declan and we are looking forward to adding him to our group.”
Capped nine times Gallagher featured in the pre Euro-2020 warm up games against Luxembourg (1-0 win) and Netherlands (2-2 draw).
Gallagher played a pivotal role in securing qualification for Euro 2020 with a commanding shift in defence in the penalty shoot-out defeat of Serbia in the play-off final in Belgrade last November.
The defender was in contention to face Czech Republic in the opening game of the Euro 2020 campaign but did not make Clarke’s 23 man match-day squad.
Following that set-back Glass contacted the defender.
He said: “I text Declan and said he is doing something that hundreds of players wished they had the opportunity to.”
Gallagher reached a pre-contract agreement whilst with Motherwell and will officially join the Dons until summer 2023.
Manager Glass has already secured Scott Brown (Celtic), Jay Emmanuel-Thomas (Livingston), Teddy Jenks (Brighton) and Jack Gurr (Atlanta United).
Aberdeen are still working on securing a work permit for Houston Dynamo’s United States international striker Christian Ramirez.
The Reds have thrashed out a fee with Major League Soccer for the 30-year-old and have also agreed personal terms with the striker.
Work on securing a permit for the twice capped striker is ongoing but it is hoped that can be secured and Ramirez will be able to fly to Scotland next week to begin his quarantine.
Ramirez has made just one start for Houston this year and has made a further five appearances off the bench.
The striker was an unused substitute in Houston’s 1-1 draw with LAFC on Saturday.
Glass met up with his new look squad for the first day of pre-season training at the club’s £13m Cormack Park training facility.
The Dons will be based at Cormack Park to retain the integrity of the bio-secure Covid-19 bubble rather than travel to a training camp as in previous years where the squad have utilised facilities in Republic of Ireland.
Glass has been watching the Euro 2020 games, as have his players, and insists that has only made the Reds more eager to get back to competitive action.
Aberdeen begin the 2021-22 campaign with a Uefa Conference League second qualifying round first leg clash against Swedish side BK Hacken at Pittodrie on Thursday July 22.
Glass said: “You watch these games at Euro 2020 and want to get back at it.
“I have no doubt the players will be the same.
“They will also be watching these games wishing there were fans back in the stadium,
“The one thing they have got is the chance to get back on the pitch, start playing and start winning games really soon.
“We are all really looking forward to it.”